Sereia Marinda Hanon
I laugh as I run as fast as possible. I can’t forget Marilla runs track. I would be an idiot to do so. I force my aching legs to keep moving and run even faster until I cross Marilla’s back gate. Air hits me like a brick wall when I halt to a stop. My hands go to my knees as I try to catch my breath as I hear Marilla arrive next to me.
“You should join track,” is the first thing she tells me after I just beat her.
“I like racing you, but you know I hate being competitive,” she knows this but still insists.
“Whatever,” now she took offense to it.
“I love you... them not so much. Sorry, I don’t know what to tell you,” I can’t have her be mad at me for some stupid thing like this. I rather suck it up. My eyes shift from her to the ocean behind her.
I can hear the crashing of the waves and the gentle motion of the water. I can feel it pulling me, calling me to join it. But I can’t tell if it’s all inside my head or it’s actually real. I can’t pull my eyes away.
“Come to me my child, come join me... be one with me ...”
It’s just so beautiful. I need to go to it. I need to be one with it.
“Sereia, stop what are you doing?” Huh? What?
I shake my head to clear my mind from the fog that invaded it and I am surprised to say the least. Marilla has her hand over my arm and I’m inches away from the sand on the beach. When the hell did I walk over here? I do not remember even crossing her garden much less coming so close to the sand.
I remember looking at the ocean and then nothing. No, wait that can’t be right. I was looking at the ocean, thinking how beautiful it was then... nothing. No, think Sereia. It was beautiful and then I felt the pull. I felt it call out to me.
But the ocean doesn’t have a voice. And no mythical creature hears the ocean. Some can control it but no one can hear it. It’s official, I have lost my damn mind. Or maybe I haven’t...
“You felt it again, didn’t you?”
“I swear I felt it call to me, I don’t even know when I started walking,” I rush to explain my odd behavior. Wait. Why am I explaining when she knows exactly what it’s like.
“Let’s go find our parents before we declare ourselves insane,” typical Marilla. Always trying to find an answer to an impossible situation or question. Exerting every road before giving up.
“What are you two doing so close to the sand? You know you’re not allowed so close to the water!”
Seaton. Marilla’s older brother. Shit. How much did he hear? I hope he heard nothing. I don’t need him thinking we’re crazy too. Me knowing it is plenty. Us. Marilla knows it too. She’s like the sister, I never had. We grew up together. Making him my older brother too. Our parents are downright inseparable
“We are just admiring the view, what else would we be doing?” When did I even open my mouth? Was it just me?
“Move away,” he warned us. Umm no. I actually like being this close to the water. How about you leave me the hell alone? Just turn around and walk away while I run to the water and go beneath the waves.
What in the world am I thinking? I’ve never gone to the beach. Never swam in the ocean. I can die. I barely even know how to swim. Ok, that’s a lie. My parents taught me how to fight in a pool but still. The ocean can drag me away. It can bury me.
My feet move away from the bushes and from the sand. I inch closer to Seaton to hide. I was never anywhere near the water. Let’s just hope he doesn’t tell my parents. No, they would die from some strong emotion. No way am I doing that again.
But it’s just so pretty. No, snap out of it Sereia. Now is not the time to notice how beautiful the ocean is.
“Moving on, do you know where mom and dad are at?”
“Where else would they be on a Thursday night?” I stare at him confused only to be greeted with one of his.
“And where is that?” Marilla asks my question.
“Our fathers are in the study drinking some strong alcohol before dinner which our moms will scold them for it later. While talking about business and world news. Mom and Venilia are in the kitchen cooking dinner and drinking wine while catching up although they talk at least twice every day.” The sarcasm in his voice is evident. I take offense to that.
I am not that forgetful thank you very much. I just think the ocean is prettier than remembering all this. I want to go swim in it. I should go swim in it. Why am I standing here? I’m going to go swim in it.
I take a step towards the ocean when I feel myself being pulled somewhere else. Hello, I was going to the ocean. I want to go to the ocean, how dare you stand in the way?
“Thank you, Seaton,” Marilla yells as she pulls me inside. She’s lucky I actually like her or she would be on the ground. Dad taught me how to fight. Her parents are much more peaceful than mine. Or at least her dad is. My mom is normal or as normal as one can be. No, it takes a lot to make her truly mad.
Earendil is more of a pacifist now that I think about it. Nerice is more grounded in a sense. Mom is more of a dreamer, a true lady. Dad is more aggressive, no more reserved, and defensive. How they’re all friends is beyond me.
Oh, we’re at the kitchen already? She just dragged me inside. Oh, wait the kitchen is closer. Duh.
“Alright it’s now or never,” Marilla whispers at me. Wait, she’s serious about talking to them. I thought she was joking. Nu huh. Nope, not doing it.
“Girls dinner’s almost ready, we know you’re more than likely hungry but it isn’t out yet,” shit they saw us, nice going Marilla.
“Mom we have something to talk about,” Marilla announces as my mom sips her wine. Shut up Marilla, I am not ready. My eyes catch a glimpse of the ocean through the kitchen window.
“Come, my dear, I am waiting for you. Come join me, it’s time. Be one with me.”
I want to. No, wait. Pain shoots through my leg. My eyes shift to Marilla. Did she just kick me?
“We’ll talk about it later, right now go leave your bags and get ready for dinner it should be done about twenty minutes.”
“It can’t wait,” she adds while nudging me to aid her. I suppose I can help you so you won’t kill me. Because I know she will if I don’t actually talk. I don’t like it but oh well.
“Mom I need to talk to you about something,” I whisper.′
“Sereia, I didn’t catch that,” she says with a sweet smile.
“I need to tell you something and it can’t wait, it’s super important,” I add for Marilla’s benefit. Ok lie but not entirely. I’m not ready for my mom to think I lost my marbles.
“What’s wrong my child,” she frowns as Nerice takes a sip of her wine.
“Nothing, nevermind it can wait till after dinner,” oh shit! I’m dead. I have to take it back.
“One hundred percent,” I say and Marilla stares at me shocked. She’s going to kill me.
“Alright go get ready for dinner then,” mom says nodding her head in my direction before engaging in conversation with Nerice.
“We agreed,” Marilla mutters at me.
“I don’t want to,” I whisper. We can solve it on our own. They don’t need to know I lost my marbles or that their daughters are missing a few screws.
“They can answer our questions and you agreed,” she says.
“Fine,” I resign and attempt to gain my mother’s attention again.
Yet I’m ignored while Marilla keeps pressuring me. I’m not ready but she can’t get the damn words out. Damn her. Alright, she’s my mom I got this. Plus maybe we are magical beings and I haven’t lost it.
“Mom,” I say loudly but by now they are immersed in conversation.
“Come on,” she nudges.
“Mom I lied it can’t wait,” I say yet I think I’m not being loud enough. My eyes catch sight of the ocean.
“Come to me, my child. Be one with me. I will protect you. I’ll keep you safe. Come, I have been waiting for you.”
It sounds so nice. It’s calling for me. I know it is. I’m not crazy.
“Just touch the water and we’ll be together.”
It’s so simple. Just touch the water. Water.
My eyes wander to the water pitcher on the center of the kitchen counter. Water. Just touch it and be one with the ocean.
“Sereia,” Marilla whispers but it’s very faint. I want to be one with the ocean.
“Water,” I whisper back.
“Mom I tried to drown myself! I can feel the water call to me!” She screams as my hand dips into the water pitcher who seems to have made its way to me.
Seconds later the trance breaks. My hand is soaking wet. My mother screams as I turn to face her and she drops her wine glass and as my eyes stare at the other broken glass I look at Nerice. Her eyes are filled with pain, sorrow, and fear. Why are they looking at us? Why is my mother sobbing?
My eyes turn to Marilla who has water dripping off her but I catch glimpse of something above me. Water is hovering right above our heads. Huge blobs of water with no form. Bubbles of pure water hovered around us. Marilla’s hand goes touches it and they dissolve drenching us whole.
Our mothers are sobbing and our father’s soon come in running with Seaton. They stare at us confused wondering why the hell our mothers are hysterical when I feel my body become water. I can feel it. My eyes wander to my legs as I seem to have trouble with my balance.
Except I don’t have legs anymore but a beautiful tail. My eyes widen as I fall to the ground but as I look to my left I see Marilla already on the floor. Before us the island kitchen and to the right our fathers looking at us horrified. What’s going on? Why do I have a tail?
What creature has a tail? None that I know of?
“Leomaris she’s a mermaid! My daughter is a mermaid and they’ll take her away from me!”
A mermaid? Mermaids don’t exist? They’re a myth! A myth everyone hates. I can’t be a mermaid, I think I want to be human now. And just like that my tail disappears and legs pop out with me drenched.